Fundraising totals for the beginning of the 2014 cycle won’t be public until next month, but Rep. Scott DesJarlais appears to be getting a little help from his friends after exhausting nearly all of his campaign cash in a scandal-ridden bid for re-election last year.
DesJarlais, who practically emptied his account to win votes in the midst of unflattering revelations from his 2001 divorce, was the beneficiary at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser hosted by at least five of his congressional colleagues last night.
The congressman, who was found to have encouraged two abortions for his ex-wife, slept with women who were his patients and encouraged at least one mistress to terminate a pregnancy while working as a physician in Jasper, handily secured re-election as a pro-life, family values Republican in November. But DesJarlais-who says he has been forgiven, remarried and turned his life around since the events surrounding his prior divorce took place-found GOP primary challengers emerging to unseat him as soon as he was sworn in for a second term in January.
Hosts for last night’s fundraiser, which was covered by various state and national media outlets, included Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Along with Issa, Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Okla.; Tom Price, R-Ga.; Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and John Kilne, R-Minn.; were also hosts for the event.
Regardless of the help from his Capitol colleagues, acquiring sufficient funds to stave off challengers in next year’s primary will likely be a tedious task for DesJarlais. Already, state Sen. Jim Tracy has held a major fundraiser with more than 100 supporters, many of whom are former and current elected Tennessee Republicans. State Rep. Joe Carr has also already begun to actively solicit funds for a primary challenge.